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Prudential Spirit of Community Awards searching for top volunteers

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards searching for top volunteers

ATLANTA -- Georgia students in grades 5-12 are encouraged to apply for the 2013 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.

The awards program began searching for its next batch of honorees this week. Recipients of the award are young people who have made meaningful contributions to their communities through volunteer service.

"We have been recognizing youth volunteers since 1995 and still, every year, we're amazed by the stories of exemplary community service," Prudential chairman and CEO John Strangfeld said in a statement. "We look forward to honoring the top youth volunteers of 2013 for their selflessness, their initiative and their dedication to changing communities for the better."

Ga. School Superintendent looking for student advisors

Ga. School Superintendent looking for student advisors

ATLANTA -- Georgia's Student Advisory Council is now accepting applications for the 2012-13 school year.

The Student Advisory Council reports to State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge to discuss how decisions made at the state level affect students throughout Georgia, according to Georgia Department of Education spokesman Matt Cardoza.

The council will meet twice during the school year -- Wednesday, Nov. 7 and Wednesday, Mar. 6. Applicants must be available to meet on both days.

All Georgia students in grades 9-12 are encouraged to apply.

"I am looking forward to getting to know a new group of student advisors and discuss how our policies affect them on a daily basis," Barge said in a statement. "We want to make education work for all Georgia's students and hearing directly from them is the best way to ensure that happens."

APS, Gwinnett students among those back today

APS, Gwinnett students among those back today

ATLANTA -- Georgia's largest school system, Gwinnett, is back in session this week, as well as Atlanta Public Schools and several others.

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We have some information you need to know as kids head back to class.

Bus safety tips from Gwinnett County Schools

When does the school year begin?

When does the school year begin?

ATLANTA -- Summer break is coming to a close for many Atlanta-area students.

In fact, three Atlanta elementary schools -- Boyd, Centennial and Hutchinson -- are already back in session; the year-round schools began the 2012-13 calendar on July 10.

The remainder of metro Atlanta's school districts will open their doors a little later.

RELATED | School tax savings will come late for some parents

The first day of school for Coweta County is Monday, Aug. 6.

Other start dates include:

Monday, July 30
Rockdale County

End-of-Course Test results released

End-of-Course Test results released

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Department of Education released system-level results for End-of-Course Tests (EOCT) Tuesday morning.

Parents and students can now visit the Georgia Department of Education's website to see how students in their school system performed. Results for individual schools will be released by July 31.

EOCT tests are more important than ever because they have replaced the graduation tests that kept many students from getting a diploma.

The tests now count for 20% of a student's final grade, up from 15%.

By 2015, students will have to pass all eight tests, spread over their course of their high school careers, to graduate.

2012 CRCT Results | Coweta County

2012 CRCT Results | Coweta County

ATLANTA -- More Georgia students than ever are exceeding standards on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests, according to new data released Thursday.

MORE | See all the results here

The 2012 CRCT results show the performances of students in grades 3-8. The biggest overall gains were in Grade 5 Social Studies (six percentage points) and Grade 8 Science (seven percentage points).

"The best news in the 2012 CRCT report is that more of our students are exceeding the standards," State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said in a statement. "Teachers are doing a great job teaching the more rigorous Georgia Performance Standards and they are to be applauded for raising expectations for all students."

Ga. Connections Academy gets high marks from parents

Ga. Connections Academy gets high marks from parents

ATLANTA -- Georgia Connections Academy has made the grade.

The state's first free virtual charter school received very positive feedback from the parents of its students during the 2011-12 school year.

Almost 90 percent of the parents who responded to a survey gave the school a grade of either A or B, and 92 percent they would recommend GACA to other parents. Eighty-five percent of parents said they were more satisfied with GACA than with their children's previous schools.

About 52 percent of the school's 610 families responded to the survey, according to GACA officials.

"Our parent satisfaction survey really illustrates our commitment to accountability," principal Heather Robinson said in a statement. "We value this parent feedback and use it to help make our virtual school program better. I am very pleased with the results, in particular the positive feedback about our teachers and the curriculum."